Thanks So much to Sarah for this recap of Kelly Clarkson’s Saturday night concert at Universal Orlando. Enjoy!
So, Kelly Clarkson is totally one of my favorite idols ever, so when I found out that she was going to be part of Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras concert series this year, I knew there was no way I could miss the concert. I last saw her at the Mud Island Amphitheater in Memphis in 2005, so I was really excited about seeing her again. I found a friend to go with me and we decided to spend part of the day in the parks as well as going to the concert, so we rode a few rides (Dueling Dragons FTW!) and then headed over to grab a spot on the very itchy astroturf that has now been installed in the amphitheater area where they have the stage permanently set up. We were nowhere close to the stage, but could still see it from a distance, and had a great view of the two screens that were on either side of the stage, so we were pretty happy.
A few random things: Kelly said on stage that she’d been told that there were about 35, 000 to 40, 000 people there. I can believe it. Friday was the start of spring break in Orlando for one of the school districts, plus there have been all kinds of spring breaker tourists here the last few weeks. The parks were PACKED both last weekend and this weekend. Kelly also said that we were her loudest crowd to date. Again, I can believe it. The air was just brimming with excitement and Kelly truly delivered what was expected, imo. She had awesome energy on stage throughout (especially since this was a really upbeat, fast paced set – almost no ballads) and the crowd fed off her energy and gave it right back to her. Also, a couple of my friends saw Joey Fatone in the audience. Awww. Kelly has a famous fanboy! Haha.
The setlist, thanks to the amazing “notes” feature on my phone:
Walk Away – One of my favorite songs from “Breakaway.” Loved it. I always think this is a great opener to get the crowd going. I think the last tour I went to, she opened with this one too.
Behind These Hazel Eyes – Completely rocked this one out. Nothing more than I expected, nothing less. Standard great performance.
All I Ever Wanted – This is one of my favorite songs on the new album and it did not disappoint live. At all.
Beautiful Disaster – she started this kinda acoustic, then rocked it out on the first chorus and through the end of the song. I saw the tour when she did this a capella, and have to say that nothing beats that for me, but this was definitely good. It was cool to hear another different arrangement of it. I guess she probably does this song on every tour, with a different arrangement? That’s cool.
Addicted – She sounded fantastic – this is one I like better live than on the album.
Gone – TONS of energy on this one – got the crowd jumping around with her on the chorus.
How I Feel – In the intro to this song, she described it as one of the “poppiest” songs she’s ever written and that it is one of her faves from “My Last December.” I think she was probably trying to say “my last album” and it came out as “My Last December” lol – to which she said “I promise I’m not drinking, y’all!” haha. Anyway, this is one of my faves on that album too, so I was glad she did it. It was great!
Never Again – she slayed this one. I mean, completely slayed it. Lotsa sass and attitude. If I’m remembering correctly, she got extended cheers and applause after this one.
Because of You – Sang this one with just one or two acoustic guitars. It was really great.
Breakaway – Continuation of the short acoustic set. She screwed up a few words on this one which had me cracking up. But still sounded amazing.
Marc Broussard’s “Home” – Called this one of her “favorite songs.” This was really funky, bluesy, and rocked out. More rocked out than MB’s original, but still had the blues and grit of it. I totally loved it.
I Do Not Hook Up – This song is catchy and is really becoming one of my favorites off the latest album. She sounded great singing it live.
Miss Independent – Screwed up a few words on this one too. If you weren’t a huge fan and didn’t know all the words to all her songs, I doubt you would have noticed, but I did. Still, no big deal. But I wonder if she just hasn’t sung it a lot recently, but added in into this setlist because of wanting to do some of her bigger hits at this show? Who knows. I enjoyed hearing it. :)
Since U Been Gone – Lotsa sass and attitude in this one. Loved it!
My Life Would Suck Without You – Encore song. Came back out saying “my life would suck without y’all!” and launched into this. Loved it!
So, the count: 2 songs from Thankful, 7 songs from Breakaway, 2 songs from My December, 3 songs from All I Ever Wanted, and one cover. I wish that she’d been able to do more stuff from her two most recent albums (especially some of the amazing ballads), but I do understand that at a concert like this, you want to do your most popular stuff, and since it’s an outdoor concert, you want to do upbeat stuff to keep the crowd going. So I got what she was trying to do, and I think the crowd really responded to her. I just would love someday to see her in an intimate setting where she does more ballads and maybe more acoustic stuff. To me the one constant about Kelly is that she can sing anything. She’s definitely versatile.
Oh, her banter was so cute. She’s so charismatic and engaging. One funny story – they had this wind machine on the front of the stage where her mic stand was set up, so it blew her hair in the whole “omg!dramatic!” video type wind-blowing-your-hair type thing. What was funny is when she saw herself in one of the video screens set up at the back of the amphitheatre for people who weren’t able to get on the grassy (aka astroturf) spot and had to stand on the street and beyond. After she saw that during one of the songs (I think during the acoustic portion? I can’t remember), she made a comment about it. Said it was really funny to see that on the screen because it almost made her crack up – she felt like her hair looked like the mom’s in “That 70’s Show” or that she was an extra on the set of an Aerosmith video. LOL. Cute. :)
Also, yesterday was one of her guitarists’ birthdays. So she got us to sing “Happy Birthday” along with her. On the last “happy biiiiiiirthday to youuuuuu” she went up in what she called her “Mariah voice”, then quickly added a disclaimer – “oh I totally love Mariah. She’s awesome.” Cracked me up.
Overall, I thought it was a great show. Universal Studios in and of itself could use some more organization in their parking garage and stuff (I live less than 10 minutes away from the studios, but it took me an HOUR to get home due to the traffic trying to get out of the parking garage.). But the experience was great! I’d totally recommend going to see Kelly if she comes to your town, or close to your town if you’re a fan! It’s totally worth it. :)